2003 News Story

GCC interior ministers recommend unified ID documents

Interior Minister Prince Nayef bin Abdulaziz left Qatar today after attending in Doha the 22nd meeting of the interior ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC). The final communiqué said that the main topic under discussion was the issue of unified passports for all GCC citizens. This issue was referred for approval to the 24th GCC Summit scheduled for Kuwait in December. Speaking at the end of the meeting, GCC Secretary-General Abdulrahman Al-Atiyyah commented that the ministers had approved acceleration of efforts to establish procedures for facilitating the movement of citizens within the member states through the use of identity cards. The ministers also resolved to form a specialized committee from interior and justice ministries to continue drafting the project of a security agreement on combating terrorism; resolved to intensify cooperation among the concerned bodies in combating drug smuggling; and approved unified regulations governing the safety and security of air cargo and control of rioting aboard aircraft.

At a press conference prior to his departure, Prince Nayef expressed the hope that GCC citizens will soon be using the unified Gulf identification documents, commenting that there is no obstacle to this, and the delay is only in the finalizing of technical aspects.